Encouragement

  1. Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Bursting with Joy before You Teach

    Teachers: Do you ever find yourself “bursting at the seams” before you enter the classroom? Are you bursting because your mind and heart have been so excited, moved, and transformed by what you have feasted on through the Word during the week that you just can’t wait to share it with the children? One of my great joys in teaching children biblical truth is how the Lord uses the time spent in lesson preparation to feed my own soul. ... More

  2. No Greater Joy in 2020

    No Greater Joy in 2020

    As a parent and grandparent, there is a special joy that comes from watching your family grow and mature. But amidst all the fun, and the giggles and smiling faces of my grandchildren, there is a verse that comes to mind that reorients my joy and makes me long and pray for something much deeper for their lives as they grow up… I have no greater joy than to hear that my children [and grandchildren] are walking in the truth.
    (3 John 4)
    ... More

  3. Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    Christmas joy from one generation to the next

    We rejoice today because Jesus visited us!
    Heaven’s door has been opened.
    A child has been born.
    A son has been given.
    The eternal King of Israel is here!... More

  4. A Timely Reminder of God’s Purpose in Suffering

    A Timely Reminder of God’s Purpose in Suffering

    As we were sitting in the Cleveland Clinic waiting room, I received a text recording sent by a young mother in our church. I tapped the arrow and heard this sweet reminder spoken by her twelve-year-old daughter, "Hi Mrs. Michael and Miss Kristi. We prayed for you. God's eye is watching and His hand is working to uphold and govern all His creation to fulfill all His purposes." ... More

  5. Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    Encouraging Your Children with a Bible Reading Plan

    The new school year is well underway and, if your children are like most kids, their schedules are increasingly packed with tasks and activities—homework, sports practice, music lessons, church programs, friends, family, and more.  But what about Bible reading? Are you helping them to prioritize reading the Bible as a daily, beneficial habit? ... More

  6. Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Engaging and Equipping Parents for Discipleship

    Does it ever feel like the parents in your church seem to view children’s and youth ministry as a “drop-off” center meant to do the work of discipling their children? Or, maybe as a parent, you feel as if the church treats you somewhat like an incompetent outsider when it comes to discipling your own children? ... More

  7. Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Why They Need a Robust Training of the Mind

    Consider these statistics that author and parent Natasha Crain notes in her article, “What Your Kids Need for a Confident Faith”:

    61% of kids who were involved in church as recently as their teenage years become spiritually disengaged by their 20s—not actively praying, reading the Bible or attending church.This finding, based on the extensive surveys of researcher George Barna, is the alarm that has sent pastors, youth leaders, and young adult ministries desperately searching for answers. Multiple independent groups have since conducted their own studies and have identified the same trend—with some estimates of those turning away from Christianity as high as 88 percent. Why is this happening? Having studied the various survey results in depth, I think it’s fair to summarize the collective problem in one sentence: A lack of robust spiritual training has resulted in a featherweight faith for many of today’s young adults, and that faith is being blown away by attacks from our secular culture. ... More

  8. Devoted Together for All-Satisfying, Eternal Joy

    Devoted Together for All-Satisfying, Eternal Joy

    Not far from our home is a vast national soccer complex where children and youth from all around the country—and even the world—play and compete. I often drive by and am amazed to see hundreds of parents sitting there sweltering in 90-plus degree, humid temperatures to watch their children play. That takes some kind of devotion from both parents and their kids! (Not to mention the investment of time and money.) Sports is just one example of things families are “devoted” to…a list could go on and on, including academic achievement, music, travel, hobbies, etc. But parents, what do you want your family to be devoted to more than anything else? What alone will bring your children ultimate satisfaction and indestructible joy?  ... More

  9. Helping Children Delight In God’s Creation this Summer

    Helping Children Delight In God’s Creation this Summer

    When I was a child, and even into my teens, I spent most of my free time outdoors. Whether playing active games with friends, exploring the neighborhood woods, or simply lying in the grass trying to identify different shapes or figures in the clouds, we spent much of our summer disconnected from media or other electronics. Now that I am an adult, I have found I still benefit from enjoying the outdoors, as it evokes praise and admiration of God as I experience firsthand the wonders He has created. One way we can encourage our children to meditate on and give God praise for His wondrous works is to go on a "Praise Walk." How? First, read together Psalm 148. Help your children to identify all of the created things in the verse that are to give praise to God. ... More

  10. When a Little Child Prays to a Big God

    When a Little Child Prays to a Big God

    Here is a true story of how a little girl's simple faith in a big God taught her parents a big lesson.

    Does God care about a doll coat? Yes, He does. God cares about doll coats, and He cares about the faith of little girls.  ... More

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